Lighting can totally make or break a room, and it can be easier to change out than you think, even in a rental. Take it from me—I've swapped out three fixtures in my space and brought in my own special bulbs for the recessed cans in my living room and the strip above my medicine cabinet. Don't be that person that lets a crappy builder's grade fixture bring down your otherwise awesome room. You can find something cool without spending a fortune, I promise.
Just in case you want to make better lighting a New Year's resolution, we thought it would be fun to survey some architects, decorators, and design pros to see what 2019 holds for all things lights and lamps. These experts are shedding some light (had to!) on what's to come, so you can make some informed decorating decisions in the new year. Here are their bright ideas.
1. Landscape-Oriented Lighting
"Linear ceiling fixtures that span the width of the room are feeling fresh as opposed to the traditional vertical drop," says designer Lauren Grant. Look for clean lined, simple fixtures with exposed bulbs to really emphasize this trend.
2. White and Colored Marble Bases
"White Marble made a comeback a few years ago in lighting via the uber popular arc floor lamps with the marble bases," says Christina Henck, a designer for Casaza, a new home design platform just launched by Drew and Jonathan Scott. "But several new collections of table and floor lamps that are in production for 2019 use different colors like gray and blackish-green in addition to white marble." So the classic white Carrara lamp base isn't going anywhere, but there are going to be more colorful stone options alongside it next year. Good to know!
3. Real Brass
Hope you have a soft spot for gold because it's coming on strong, particularly in lighting. "We are already seeing a bit of a trend toward new traditional interiors with classic lines and updated colors," says Janet Lorusso of JRL Interiors. "This has already produced a return to real brass, not the fake lacquered shiny brass, in classic fixtures and chandeliers."
Lorusso sees this coming year as being all about the living finish—unlacquered brass that will age and patina over time. If you go the vintage route, you'll be able to find some unique shapes like these scalloped petal fixtures.
4. Integrated LED Lighting
"More and more, everyday use fixtures like ceiling fans and flush mounts are now being designed to incorporate LED lighting, creating more light sources and functional options (i.e. dimmable) for users," says Matt Elsey, a merchant of interior lighting at The Home Depot. "This is something that was unattainable before due to bulb limitations."
5. Natural Fiber Lamps
Wicker and woven grasses are everywhere right now, and that's not changing in 2019. "Woven natural fiber lighting is gaining more and more momentum, as people yearn to have that light and airy look," says Grant. "Large simple baskets move forward and are expanding into more unusual shapes and colors."
Henck agrees, adding that this texture is for more than just beach homes. "Natural fibers like rattan, rope, and other woven grasses add a warm bohemian element and provide a sense of casual freedom wherever you put them," she says.
6. The Bigger the Better
And we're not talking just slightly overscale here, though that's an option too. Lighting is going bonkers and insanely big to match other emphasized home features. "With ceilings gaining more and more importance in the design world—painted colors that pop and wallpaper galore—ceiling lights are becoming that much more important," says Grant, who installed a pair of big white dome pendants over this table.
7. Sculptural Shapes
"Lighting is becoming more and more decorative, even to the point that the fixtures are almost looked at as art," says Elissa Morgante, co-principal of Morgante Wilson Architects. "We love using sculptural fixtures or lamps that can really be a statement piece in a room's overall design."
Jamie Young, president and co-owner of lighting company Jamie Young Co., also thinks we will start to see more natural silhouettes and organic forms when it comes to lighting. "We're working on developing bold shapes with a modern yet elegant twist," says Young.
8. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Interior designer Cecilie Starin sees indirect lighting as super on trend. Think under the counter, behind a mirror or up-lighting a wall, for examples. "It creates a soothing ambiance, and we need that sense of cocooning calmness in our homes now more than ever," says Starin.
Well, there you have it. Which one of these trends will you try in 2019? Or do you have something else in mind entirely?